The Power of Tourism

When people visit Orlando, our entire community benefits. Each visitor to our destination provides about $1,000 in economic impact, creating revenue that supports our schools and parks, public safety, arts and sports venues, and infrastructure. ​

According to the latest figures from 2018, tourism to Orlando generated:​​

  • $75.2 billion in regional impact ​

  • $47 billion in visitor spending​

  • $5.8 billion in local and state tax revenue​

In addition, 463,000 jobs across Central Florida were either directly or indirectly supported by tourism. That represents 41% of our local workforce and includes every sector of our economy, from lodging, dining and entertainment to education, healthcare and advanced manufacturing.  ​

In Orange County, where Orlando is located, tourists accounted for over 50% of all sales tax revenue. Twelve of the top 15 property tax owners were in the tourism industry. And overnight visitors contributed $289 million in Tourist Development Tax, money that supports many of the county’s arts, cultural and sporting venues. ​

"Increased tourism, more business activity, and higher property value … translate to greater consumer spending at area businesses and increased revenues for state and local governments, which helps Orange County to meet the demands of growth without raising tax rates.” — Orange County budget highlights, FY 2019-20​


  • We break it into three categories: direct, indirect and induced. Direct economic value happens when visitors do things like book hotel rooms, rent cars and buy tickets to attractions. This type of spending supports jobs, wages, taxes and gross domestic product in sectors like recreation and transportation. But the impact ripples further than that. Tourism companies also purchase goods and services from other businesses, such as food wholesalers and utility suppliers. We call this indirect impact. Finally, we have employees whose wages come either directly or indirectly from tourism. When they spend those wages in the local economy, they create induced impact. 

  • As the Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, we brand, market and sell the area globally as a premier leisure, convention and business destination. We represent 1,100 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community. 

  • Tourism makes our region an attractive place to live, work and play. Examples include the convenience of two international airports, leading arts and sports venues, and shopping, dining and entertainment experiences from the most recognized brands in the world. Residents also have access to a large employer base, jobs that accommodate a wide spectrum of education and experience levels, professional growth opportunities, and more money in state and local tax coffers.  

  • Tourism creates a funding stream for better schools, roads, public safety and other important government services in three ways:  

    • Property taxes fund most of the county’s general use revenue for areas such as public safety, health and social programs, children services, public transportation, parks and recreation, and infrastructure improvements. In 2019, 12 of the top 15 property tax owners in Orange County were in the tourism industry.  

    • Sales taxes also fund a variety of Orange County services and projects, including local school construction and renovation. In a typical year, visitors contribute over 50% of all sales taxes collected in our county — that’s $3,012 for each household. Over the past five years, tourism-related sales tax collections have totaled more than half a billion dollars for our local schools. 

    • Tourist development taxes on overnight lodging primarily fund destination marketing and the Convention Center; in recent years, this tax has also helped grow the county’s arts, cultural and sporting venues, as well as special events. 

  • The tourism industry is very supportive of economic diversity for our region and believes that expanding other business sectors benefits everyone. At the same time, we also are proud that so many members of our industry are willing to continue investing in our community to help ensure ongoing prosperity. When tourism is strong, it positively impacts virtually every job sector in Orlando, which also helps strengthen economic diversity. While leisure and hospitality is our region’s largest employer, new job growth is balanced across both tourism and non-tourism industries, and together have made Orlando one of America’s fastest-growing job markets for several years.  

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Please direct media inquiries to Denise Spiegel, Sr. Director of Public Relations.